Understanding public satisfaction with the police: Military background and interactions between higher education and prior contact with the police

Mengyan Dai (Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, USA)
Xiaochen Hu (Fayetteville State University, Fayetteville, North Carolina, USA)
Victoria Time (Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, USA)

Policing: An International Journal

ISSN: 1363-951X

Publication date: 12 August 2019

Abstract

Purpose

Building upon prior research, the purpose of this paper is to improve the understanding of public satisfaction with the police by examining the effects of one’s military background and the interactions between one’s education and perceptions about prior contact with the police.

Design/methodology/approach

This study statistically analyzes the 2012 citizen survey data collected in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, USA, and the theoretical framework includes the major models of citizen satisfaction with the police (i.e. demographic, prior contact with the police and neighborhood conditions).

Findings

Findings show that being a military family member is significantly positively related to satisfaction with the police. In addition, there are significant interactions between higher education and prior contact with the police, suggesting that people with different educational backgrounds tend to consider their prior experiences (either positive or negative) differently in their general evaluations of the police.

Originality/value

The study expands the literature by empirically assessing two often omitted factors that could have significant impacts on how the public evaluate the police.

Keywords

Citation

Dai, M., Hu, X. and Time, V. (2019), "Understanding public satisfaction with the police: Military background and interactions between higher education and prior contact with the police", Policing: An International Journal, Vol. 42 No. 4, pp. 571-584. https://doi.org/10.1108/PIJPSM-08-2018-0110

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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